One of the many highlights of this year’s Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival was the tale of the Carterhaugh Ba’ told by Billie Gillies, Ian Landles and Richard Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch to interviewer Finlay Calder.

Most people believe that English Anglican clergyman William Webb Ellis was the original inventor of rugby football while a pupil at Rugby School.

According to legend, Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it during a school football match around 1823, thus creating the "rugby" style of play.

Although the story has become firmly entrenched in folklore, it is not supported by substantive evidence and in fact in later years Webb Ellis had no recollection of this incident having taken place.

The incident is discounted by most rugby historians as a myth particularly those from the Scottish Borders who cite a well-documented game eight years earlier when 750 ba’ players came together in a mighty contest on the field of Carterhaugh, near Selkirk on December 4  1815 for what was advertised as ‘a Great Foot-Ball Match’.

Two hundred years to the day later two bands of dedicated ba’ players descended on Carterhaugh to celebrate the bicentenary of the match by joining battle in another no-holds-barred contest.

Cracked crowns, furious duckings, acts of never-to-be-forgotten heroism and unforgivable betrayal were recalled by Ian Landles who relived the dramas of the original 1815 Carterhaugh Ba’ match, and recalled Walter Scott’s pivotal role in organising it.

Billy Gillies also explained why the Border ba’ game is absolutely not just a game but a serious business, and gave a blow-by-blow account of the 2015 re-enactment.

Billy concluded by revealing that he intends having his ashes sewn into a ball so that he can keep playing the game.

Their coffee table book contains historic images, verses and letters, alongside photographs by leading Scottish photographers, and tells a story that has waited two centuries to be told.

Proceeds from book sales go to The Bill McLaren Foundation.